What is the aim of the Italian Historical Society?

The Italian Historical Society was established in 1980 to collect, preserve and promote the history of Italian migration and settlement in Australia.

Since its formation, the IHS has grown steadily and today has an extensive collection of photographs, ephemera, letters, documents and objects which relate to all aspects of Italian migration and settlement story. Much of the material which dates from the gold rush to the present has been donated by Italian migrants and their descendants.

How do I contact the Italian Historical Society?

For enquiries not covered by these FAQs the Society can be contacted via: or by phone (03) 9349 9000.

How do I access the Collection and related information?

The Italian Historical Society Collection is showcased via the Museo Italiano permanent exhibition which covers the key themes of Italian migration and settlement.

Access to information on the Society’s Collection which includes over 8,000 digital images is available via the online catalogues.

The Society is undergoing a major review to improve management of, and access to the Collection. During this time public access to the Collection is not possible.

Can I obtain a digital copy of an image?

Most images from the Italian Historical Society Photograph Collection are available for purposes of research and study within approved projects of a community, educational or cultural nature. The Policies and Legal Requirements page outlines how to order an image and image reproduction conditions.

Does the Italian Historical Society undertake family history research?

While the Society is not able to undertake family history research the Society’s website does include useful information for family history researchers including factsheets, links to resources and an online catalogue of images.

Does the Italian Historical Society undertake private research?

No. The Society does not have the resources to undertake research on behalf of individual researchers.

Researchers are encouraged to use the information available on this website and to browse the Society’s online catalogues.

The Society is committed to cataloguing the Collection to improve access and make relevant information available online.

Can I make a donation to the Italian Historical Society Collection?

The Society welcomes offers of donations of photographs (print or digital), objects, stories and family histories which support the Society’s mission statement and collection policies. Donation offers are assessed on a case by case basis. The assessment may take some months depending on available resources and the complexity of the donation. There is no guarantee that the Italian Historical Society will be able to accept items that are offered for donation.

If you are considering donating to the Italian Historical Society, please submit your donation offer together with related digital image(s) and history of ownership and use information to .

Please do not post objects, documents and/or photographs in the mail. The Italian Historical Society does not accept responsibility for unsolicited items received in the post.

Can the Italian Historical Society conserve my objects?

No, the Italian Historical Society does not offer a commercial conservation service.

Contact the Italian Historical Society